The Lord is My Help and My Deliverer

Text: Psalm 40


I.         Evil exists in this world, and God is concerned about our welfare - Psalm 121

            A.        With God on our side we have no fear of man - Hebrews 13:5-6

            B.        Yet many wonder why troubles beset us when the Almighty has promised us protection.

II.        We often don’t recognize God’s protection

            A.        Perhaps a story told by Dr. A. A. Hodges will help clarify the issue a bit: One day, a man rushed into the presence of Dr. Witherspoon, an eighteenth century clergyman. "Dr. Witherspoon," he shouted, "help me to thank God for His wonderful providence! My horse ran away, my buggy was dashed to pieces on the rocks, and behold! I am unharmed." The good doctor smiled benevolently at the inconsistent, imperfect character of the man's religion. "Why," he answered, "I know a Providence a thousand times better than that. I have driven down that rocky road to Princeton hundreds of times, and my horse never ran away and my buggy was never dashed to pieces."

            B.        Here is a truth few Christians grasp. An accident occurs and we have a seemingly miraculous deliverance. Immediately, we see God's hand in it and praise Him and tell others of His marvelous act of providence. It never occurs to us to thank Him for the times beyond number when we were spared even the accident.

            C.        God does promise protection

                        1.         He will guard our hearts and minds - Philippians 4:4-7

                        2.         He will protect us from Satan - II Thessalonians 3:3

                                    a.         How? By limiting Satan’s power - I Corinthians 10:13

                                    b.         He is able to keep us from falling - Jude 24-25

                        3.         We are preserved by the power of God - I Peter 1:5

III.       We expect more than God has offered

            A.        God hasn’t promised complete protection from all harm

                        1.         This was the mistake Job’s friends made. They were certain that Job must have sinned and incurred God’s anger. It was the only explanation they could come up with to explain the evils that befell Job, but they were wrong - Job 42:7

                        2.         Or consider the apostle Paul - II Corinthians 11:23-27

                        3.         Or ultimately consider the Son of God. Though he was without sin, he suffered a cruel death at the hand of evil men.

            B.        God hasn’t promised to protect everyone

                        1.         Psalm 112 - Notice that it is offered to the one who fears God and delights in his law

                        2.         John 17:11 - Disciples are kept through God’s name – by His authority, by His law

                                    a.         It is not merely the use of God’s name

                                    b.         The failure of the exorcists - Acts 19:13-16

                        3.         Only if we listen to God - Proverbs 1:33

                        4.         No harm befalls the righteous - Proverbs 12:21

            C.        Often what we consider to be harm is too short-sighted

                        1.         Psalm 41:9-10 - David was harmed by close friends, but he recognized that God remained with him

                        2.         What lasting harm can be given to a follower of God? - I Peter 3:13-14

                        3.         Even in the midst of trouble, we need to realize that man’s worse is but temporal.

IV.      God can pull good from evil events - Romans 8:28

            A.        Nothing in this verse states that only good will happen

            B.        Also notice that the promise is limited to those who are called according to His purpose

            C.        What sort of things? Take a look at Romans 8:31-37

            D.        Consider the life of Joseph

                        1.         He was sold into slavery by his own brothers

                        2.         His master’s wife falsely accused him of attempted rape, for which he was thrown into prison

                        3.         When an opportunity arose for Joseph’s case to be brought before Pharaoh, the man whom Joseph helped forgot about him for two years.

                        4.         Yet Joseph understood why he suffered - Genesis 50:20

            E.        The benefits derived from hardships

                        1.         Hardships cause some to turn bitter, it causes the faith of some to grow cold, it causes some to blame their God; but for those who remain true, it helps them to keep focused on the real goal – heaven! - II Corinthians 4:16-18

                        2.         James 1:2-4 - This is why trails can bring joy

                        3.         Trials give us hope - Romans 5:3-4

                        4.         Trials shape us and perfect us - I Peter 1:6-7

            F.        Psalm 91

V.        If God prevented all harm, then He would need to eliminate all sin and all sinners

            A.        No one would be left

            B.        No choice would be available

            C.        Yet one day it will happen - II Thessalonians 1:3-10

            D.        Knowing the ultimate outcome, we can join with Paul in saying - II Timothy 1:12

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